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PNS Daily Newscast - August 3, 2020 

Negotiations to resume today on a COVID-19 relief package; advocates brace for surge in homeless Americans.

2020Talks - August 3, 2020 

Concerns about U.S. Postal Service delays and voter intimidation from voting rights advocates. Plus, Joe Biden calls for emergency housing legislation.

New Website Aims to Open Employment Doors for People with Disabilities

January 12, 2009

Jefferson City, MO - Making a job search is tough enough, but looking for work has become a whole lot tougher for people with disabilities in Missouri. Fewer jobs in the current economy, more people competing for those jobs, and misconceptions about hiring people with disabilities make it rough for Missourians with disabilities to find work. In fact, eight in 10 say they want to work, but can't find a job.

These facts have led to a new education campaign for potential employers. Chas Nickolaus with Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities says employers mistakenly think people with disabilities won't be as productive, or wrongly believe that adding them to a staff will boost insurance rates. He says the truth is people with disabilities are a largely untapped, skilled and dedicated workforce.

"We really truly believe that if an employer is creative and can look outside the box, it can be a win-win situation for both the business and the employee."

Nickolaus says there are more than 54 million people with disabilities nationwide. He calls that a lucrative potential workforce, ready to bring home paychecks and pay taxes.

"Gosh, in these tough economic times, the more folks who get off benefits and start pulling the wagon instead of riding it, the better it is for all of us. I think it makes a richer community."

The Planning Council has developed free online training for employers. It teaches them the value of a diverse workforce and spells out recent changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The training is available at

Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MO